Not divided, or not to be divided
Webster defines the word "Individual" as follows: "Not divided, or not
to be divided; existing as one distinct being or object; single; one."
The same authority informs us that the word arises from the Latin word
_individuus_, meaning "indivisible; not divisible." Does not this help
you to gain a clearer idea of the Individuality that knows itself to be
a Centre of Consciousness in the One Life, rather than a separate,
puny, insignificant thing apart from all other centres or forms of
Life, or the source of Life? We think it will help to clear your mind
of some of the fog that has not as yet lifted itself.
And while we are on the subject of definitions, let us take a little
look at the word "Personality," that is generally believed to be a
synonym of "Individuality," and is often so used. Webster tells us that
the word "Person" originated from the Latin word _persona_, meaning "a
mask used by actors," which word in turn arose from two other words,
_per_, meaning "through," and _sonare_, meaning "to sound," the two
combined words meaning "to sound through."
The same authority informs us that the archaic meaning of the word was "a character
or part, as in a play; an assumed character." If you will think of Personality as "a
mask used by an actor," or as "a part in a play," or as something used
to "sound through" or to speak through, by the real Individual behind
the mask of Personality, then perhaps you will see a little further
into the Mystery of Personality and Individuality.
Oh, dear students, be not deceived by the mask of Personality which you
may happen to be wearing at this moment, or by the masks which are worn
by those around you. Realize that back of your mask is the great
Individual--the Indivisible--the Universal Life, in which you are a
centre of consciousness and activity.
This does not wipe out your identity--instead it gives you a greater and grander
identity. Instead of your sinking into a Nirvana of extinction of consciousness, your
consciousness so enlarges as you unfold, that you will in the end feel
your identity to be the identity of the Universe. Instead of your
gaining Nothingness, you gain Allness. All spiritual growth and
unfoldment gives you a constantly increasing sense of relationship
with, and agreement with, the All.
You grow into Allness as you unfold.
Be not deceived by this chatter about Nothingness, and loss of
Individuality, in the Oriental thought, although some of the
presentations of its teachings may so seem to mean at first reading.
Remember always that Personality is the mask, and Individuality the